Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Students will be able to 

  • understand computer aided design methods for urban and landscape scale.
  • retrieve information from databases, interpret the obtained data, critically evaluate, draw conclusions and formulate strategies for data-driven desig
  • formulate a computational method for complex, multi-layered design tasks
  • formulate a critical design approach 
  • apply cross-scale thinking
  • able to explore and articulate design strategies through the medium of interactive tools
  • create strategies for transformative urban environments including elements of landscape architecture


Credits: 12

Schedule: 14.09.2021 - 21.12.2021

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Pia Fricker

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

//// Teaching Team: 

Prof. Pia Fricker, Prof. Toni Kotnik, Tina Cerpnjak, Luka Piskorec, Kane Borg

//// Contact Possibilities: 

The teaching team is available during regular studio teaching hours:

Pia Fricker: Tuesdays 09.00 - 15.00h

Toni Kotnik: Thursdays 13.00 - 17.00

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Studio with varying content focusing on formulating a critical, speculative design in the area of responsive urbanism and landscsape architecture by integrating experimental computational thinking and methods. 

  • applies in this implementation

    //// Articulated Landscapes: 

    Digital design is driven by a thinking in structures that is pattern of order and their interaction. The joint studio is an introduction into such design thinking and emphasizes the exploration of organizational pattern in various level of abstraction and scale through the integration of computational methods and workflows. By stressing traditional binary pairs of discourse like natural/artificial, soft/hard or dynamic/static the studio explores complex challenges we are facing today in the field of architecture & urbanism at the interface to material and territorial questions.

    The studio is organized as an experimental design lab and structured around three key element: 

    • pattern generation
    • pattern transformation 
    • speculative interpretation

    Computational explorations, thereby, are complemented by physical explorations through the integration of the robot, as well as theoretical grounding. 

    Studio teaching is supported by intense skill building workshops and reading & discussion rounds. The course is aiming at the rethinking of fundamentals of contemporary architecture & urbanism and can serve as starting point for a thesis research.   

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The format of the design assignments vary, from analyses, exploration, hands-on computational learning and design projects. The focus of the evaluation of which also varies for different periods. The teaching methods comprise lectures, seminars, workshops, interim critiques and the final critique, as well as intensive tutoring of both groups and individuals.

    Specific studio information will be given on MyCourse portal.


  • applies in this implementation

    please find further information here:

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    12 ECTS (approx. 27 working hours = 1 ECTS)

    Tutored studies 70 hrs (lectures, group work, assignments, seminars, feedback reviews, workshops, excursions), independent study 120-320 hrs (design assignments), in total 190-390 hrs.


  • applies in this implementation

    //// Combined Studio, you will get 30 ECTS and will be signed up for the following courses/studios:

    • ARK-E3003 Design of Structures > Studio
    • ARK-E2509 Design of Structures > Theory
    • ARK-E551801 Digital Speculative Urbanism > Studio
    • ARK-E551010 Digital Speculative Urbanism > Lecture

    //// Workload: 

    30 ECTS: 810 working hours in total (please note, that part of the workload of the ARK-E2509 Design of Structures - Theory lecture series will be in January 2022)

    • ca. 20% lectures & input & discussion
    • ca. 20% tutoring & hands-on
    • ca. 60% independent learning & reflection 


Study Material
Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    7 Affordable and Clean Energy

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

    15 Life on Land


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The studio is geared towards Master students or advanced students of the field of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Media, Film and Engineering, as well as USP students.

    Minimum number of participants is 5 students.


    Teaching Period:


    (2021, 2022) - No teaching

    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: Sisu replaces Oodi on 9 August, 2021. Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture:



    The order of priority for admitting students to courses at Aalto ARTS 1.1.2018 onwards (approved by The Committee of Arts, Design and Architecture on 10.10.2017)

    The order of priority is as follows:

    1. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have scheduled it for the current academic year in their personal study plan (HOPS);
    2. exchange students for whom the course is a part of his/her officially approved learning agreement and scheduled to be taken during the current semester;
    3. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have not completed it yet;
    4. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major s or programme s alternative studies and has been scheduled in the student's PSP (HOPS) for the current academic year
    5. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major s or programme s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
    6. students for whom the course is compulsory for their minor;
    7. students, for whom the course is part of his/her minor subject s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
    8. students who have applied for the course through a student mobility scheme (internal mobility within Aalto University, flexible study right (JOO) studies etc.);
    9. other students.


    Courses that are intended to be multidisciplinary (e.g. UWAS courses) may apply an order of priority based on the learning outcomes of the course, while bearing in mind the university obligation of enabling students to complete their degrees within the normative duration of study set for the degree. The order of priority does not apply to courses organised by the Centre for General Studies or doctoral courses.

    This decision on the order of priority does not influence the right of the teacher to define prerequisites for the course.


Details on the schedule